How much do you like your smartphone? Chances are, the answer is too much, right? We all want to spend less time watching screens and more time experiencing real life experiences. The data is quite clear: we are all too obsessed with our phones. One in three people in the world are having trouble unplugging their phone, even when they know it's a lot healthier to put their phone on.
Why are smartphones so convincing? They're designed specifically to be that way, with bright lights, high-definition colors, pop-up pop-up notifications, and prompts to grab your attention. But fortunately for us, there are many things we can do to change the appearance and performance of our phones. In fact, if you want to give your smartphone a dull, boring or just ugly appearance, you can do it.
Let's start with the tools already on your phone. Apple's iOS 12 update included a new feature called Screen Time, which provided you with a wealth of data on how to use your iPhone and iPad, breaking down the time you spend in each individual app on your device. . There is also an application limit, which allows you to set a daily allocation of time for a particular application or for a whole class of applications, such as social media, productivity or entertainment. When it is exhausted, iOS will dimmed the icon and will display a full-screen banner stating that you have reached your time limit.
Android phone users have a setting called Digital Wellbeing, which is quite similar to Screen Time. The main difference between the two features is that you can basically press a button to ignore it on iOS, but on Android you have to manually remove the limit, which is even more annoying.
There are also third-party applications that can make your phone less appealing. An Android app called Siempo gives you a white background with bland icons. It also allows you to delay and cluster notifications. And then, there is a problem: Siempo constantly rearranges your icons so that you can not get in the habit of having muscle memory to launch reflex apps.
You can also activate the Grayscale function of your phone. On iOS, go to Settings, Accessibility, Display Hosting, Color Filters, and select Grayscale. Everything should become dull and gray. (It's like this movie Pleasantvillebut in reverse.) I would also disable all non-human notifications, which is pretty much everything, except for texts you receive from iMessage, WhatsApp or any other email application you use.
Suppose your fix is more severe than can be changed by toggling a few settings or downloading new applications. You may need to change your behavior, but you will not want to stop abruptly. Think of it as a diet: you should always eat, but your goal should be to reduce your consumption to a healthier level. How do we do that?
Some of the tips I've seen described by various experts in behavioral psychology include setting goals for using your smartphone and achieving such goals. Turn off your phone at certain times of the day. Do not bring your phone to bed. Delete triggering apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And accept the fact that by limiting the use of your smartphone, you will miss some invitations, news or gossip. Take a deep breath. Kiss the FOMO.
For the most extreme cases, you can also get rid of your smartphone. Currently, there is a trend in minimalist phones, which are essentially phones that do a lot less. There is a whole series of minimalist phones ranging from most features to at least. Devices such as Unihertz Jelly are tiny hard-to-use smartphones, while others like the Light Phone only make phone calls.
If all else fails, there is always … (drum), digital detox camp! These places have been around for a while and, honestly, they are pretty easy to hate. Rich and privileged people who go to the woods where they learn to manage without electronic devices? Inaccessible for most of us, but if you can afford it, have fun.
Hey, I understand: phones are great. You can play candy Crush, watch tutorials on YouTube, lead the president on Twitter. The real world is a kind of disorder. But when it starts to interfere in your life, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship with technology. Then, hopefully, you can achieve that perfect balance between the life of the phone and that of your phone.